Bob Bertheau, winemaker for Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington state and Ernst Loosen of Germany’s Dr. Loosen estate will host a rare ten year vertical tasting of Eroica Riesling at the prestigious London International Wine Fair (LIWF) on May 12. As an LIWF “Masterclass,” the tasting is designed to showcase the diversity, evolution and best in Washington state Riesling to an international trade audience.
After a decade of collaborating on Eroica Riesling, the Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen team will share what they have learned about the best sites in Washington state for Riesling and the changing vineyard practices needed to achieve the best results. The tasting of 1999-2008 Eroica will illustrate the regional style differences emerging out the Columbia Valley of Washington state, from Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Cold Creek Vineyard, a warm site and primary source of the early Eroica blends, to cooler sites in the Yakima Valley, which provide the backbone of recent Eroica vintages.
“After a decade we have found our ‘Eroica style,’ striving for beautiful bright fruit with crisp acidity and enhanced minerality,” says Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaker Bob Bertheau.
Launched in 1999, Eroica is truly a labor of love for two of the world’s great Riesling producers. An intermingling of Old and New World philosophies and techniques enables the crafting of an extraordinary Riesling from Washington state grapes. Named for Beethoven’s Third Symphony, Eroica reflects not only its variety and site, but also its heritage: bold and forward from its Washington roots, elegant and refined from German inspiration. Bob Bertheau and Ernst Loosen collaborate on everything from site selection, irrigation and canopy management in the vineyards, to determining the final Eroica blend.
“I have long believed that a Riesling revival would have to start with a prominent New World winery like Chateau Ste. Michelle,” says Ernst Loosen, owner and winegrower, Dr. Loosen Estate.
The 2008 Eroica Riesling marks the 10th vintage of the collaboration and will release in the marketplace this summer.
Chateau Ste. Michelle, the leading North American Riesling producer of more than 40 years, and Ernst Loosen, esteemed Mosel Valley producer and passionate Riesling ambassador, are dedicated to enhancing the image, quality and appreciation of Riesling around the globe.
Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington state and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. The winery owns 3,500 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley of eastern Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek. Chateau Ste. Michelle enjoys winemaking partnerships with two of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori and Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen.
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